CSU hammers USC Upstate 9-3

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Drew Woodall and Zack Hagaman each hit two-run home runs as the Bucs piled up 14 hits to beat USC Upstate, 9-3, on Wednesday night.

With the win, CSU moves to 12-21 overall and picks up its first road win of the season, while Upstate falls to 20-13.

The Bucs wasted little time in ending their road frustrations. CSU scored four runs in the first inning and added two in both the third and fourth, building an 8-0 lead to put the Spartans in a deep hole.

"To (score four runs) in the first inning against a pitcher that Charlotte last week was a big start for us," CSU head coach Stuart Lake said following the win. "(Kyle) Dyson also gave us three good innings to get us started."

Dyson (WP, 1-0) gave up one hit in three innings of work to pick up the win in his first decision of the year. The Bucs had six pitchers combined to scatter seven hits and one earned run. Austin Weekley pitched two shutout innings as CSU shutdown an Upstate team that came in having won 7-of-8.

The win gives the Bucs something to build on heading into a weekend series against VMI, which opens a six-game Big South home stand for CSU.

"(There is) no doubt this win gives us some momentum," Lake added. "VMI will come in fighting this weekend, but we will too. Those will be three hard games, but we're excited about the weekend.

After a tough first half of the season away from CSU Ballpark, the Bucs' offense finally broke through on the road on Wednesday night, and in a big way.

"This team has stayed together and tonight we got the hit we needed," Lake said of his offense. "The two home runs were huge to give us a lead. It took some pressure off so we didn't have to be perfect the rest of the game."

After playing from behind all day on Tuesday against Georgia Southern, the Buc offense gave the CSU pitching staff plenty to work with on Wednesday.

The Bucs had seven hits in the first inning racing to a 4-0 lead. Drew Woodall had the first of his two big swings on the night, coming through with a two-run double to left center. Brian Welch and Robbie Streett added RBI singles in the frame as CSU batted around.

Woodall added to the lead in the third, ripping his second home run of the season, both in the last eight days, out to left center as CSU extended its lead to 6-0.

The Bucs moved ahead 8-0 in the fourth as Zach Hagaman belted his team-leading fifth home run to right center to score Alex Tomasovich. The blast was the Bucs' 12th hit in the first four innings.

Woodall finished one of his best games as a Buc with four RBIs and 3-of-5 at the plate. Chase Shelton was also 3-for-5, while four different Bucs scored twice.

Gaither Bumgardner was 2-for-3 to lead Upstate.

CSU opens its Big South series with VMI on Friday at 3 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.